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A Match Made In Maui

Written by Nina Singh

Chapter Thirteen

Tessa looked like she wanted to dump the cone of shaved ice over his head. Judging by the fire behind her eyes, Jason wouldn’t be surprised if she did just that.

Despite that risk, he followed her toward the beach. She didn’t stop until she reached a lounge chair, then unceremoniously dropped herself into it. She appeared to like the grape shaved ice just fine. He sat down into the chair next to her.

“Would you like my orange one instead?” he began, simply to try and start some semblance of a conversation.

“This is fine. Thank you.” She didn’t bother to look his way.

Jason released a weary sigh. They weren’t going to be able to settle anything between them at this rate.

It was as if she’d read his mind. “You have to understand, I never expected to see you here, Jason. And then to find out you were here for the sole purpose of seeing me… Well, let’s just say that was another shock.”

“Why did you think I might be here? At first, I mean.”

She was silent for so long he didn’t think she would answer. Finally, she spoke, her voice barely loud enough to hear over the crashing waves a few feet in front of them. “I thought you were here to accompany someone to the wedding. I thought you might be a guest’s plus one.” Her voice shook before she finished the sentence, as if she were upset at the possibility. As if she might have been jealous.

He took a bite of the cone, not really tasting it.

“You were mistaken. There hasn’t been anyone else. Not since us.”

Tessa remained silent, but he hadn’t missed the subtle relaxing of her shoulders at his declaration.

An unsettling thought crept into his mind and slithered around like a serpent. Silly, really, that the possibility hadn’t occurred to him before. Suddenly, it was his turn to wrangle with the cruel jealousy monster.

“What about you?” he asked when he managed to find a way to speak past the dread that had suddenly turned his tongue thick. “Has there been someone for you?”

He didn’t breathe until she answered with a slight shake of her head. The mere moments felt like decades. “No. There hasn’t been anyone. Just you.”

Jason felt the relief clear to his very cells. It dawned on him exactly how much he had risked this past year. How utterly egotistical and selfish of him to think Tessa would just be there waiting to fall back into his arms the moment he was ready. For a highly educated, immensely successful entrepreneur and businessman, he really had played the part of the foolish dunce much too well.

One thing was for certain, he was going to do everything in his power to try and make up for his blind stupidity. Somehow, someway, he had to atone for the arrogance that might very well have cost him the only woman he’d ever loved.

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